Taurine for a Longer Life, If You are a WormJuly 09, 2023
Taurine For Longer Life, In Mice and Worms
Taurine was first discovered in ox bile, hence the name. It is an amino acid but not one used in proteins. Plants have virtually zero taurine and vegans will have none in their diet. It is not an essential amino acid for humans as it can be manufactured internally by several pathways. It does decline with aging. It clearly has many functions in humans but has not been proven to be beneficial by randomized trials, yet.
We do get taurine in our diet, to the tune of about 40-300 mg a day, depending on animal protein intake. Large population studies do show lower longevity with eating more animal products so there is some dynamic tension there. Our sports drink industry has added taurine to many energy drinks, up to 2,000 mg per drink. To supply this demand, China has about 40 manufacturers of taurine, making 3,000 tons of it a year. Some studies have shown that a total intake of 1,000 mg per kg was safe. (Not if that included 50 caffeinated sports drinks.)
The role it plays in humans isn't clear. It does help rid the body of excess chlorine and bromine. That's good. It works as an osmotic agent, helping in the balance of electrolytes across membranes. A review of its benefits from 2023 includes lowering of A1c. It helps keep potassium and magnesium inside the human cell, and sodium out. That may explain why some patients dramatically improve with taurine from PACs.
The headlines this last month (June 9th, Science) were that worms and mice live 10-15%% longer when fed taurine-enriched diets. Monkeys, fed extra taurine, were leaner, gained less weight, had denser bones and a "younger looking" immune system.
Is that enough for prime time? Well, the Japanese think so. Because of its proven benefits in cardiac function, taurine is now approved in Japan for the treatment of congestive heart failure. Is taurine something older vegans should think of adding to their diets, knowing that its levels do decline with aging?
www.What will Work for me? I've used magnesium taurate for episodic atrial fibrillation, with mixed success. I take my own magnesium in the form of magnesium taurate. But I am an animal protein eater, mostly in the form of eggs and seafood and dairy. Add an occasional lamb chop. I think this study rises to the level of interesting. It does have a sulfur atom which soaks up loose electrons. Maybe that's it. Let's pay attention. My suspicion is that the real benefit is not quite clear yet. I think we are all modestly poisoned by too much bromine in our diet/environment. We've never had that before. Maybe that's its real benefit. I'm waiting for AI to take a look at this. It's too complex to understand so far
1. What is taurine? Answer: An amino acid widely present in our bodies.
2. How much do vegans get in their diet? Answer. None
3. What country has approved taurine for use in congestive heart failure? Answer. Japan.
4. What does Red Bull have taurine in it? Answer. Supposed assistance in exercise performance.
5. Should you take taurine as a supplement? Answer. Whoa, Nellie. No credible randomized placebo-controlled trial, running for 20 years. And never will be. No money in that.